According to government, the progress on equality in gender can only be monitored if statistics are collected and presented timely GOVERNMENT has pledged to heavily invest in capacity building for statistical provision, monitoring and data usage for informed policy making and programming.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said the presence of gender statistics is a fundamental condition for gender mainstreaming as they present vital tools for the establishment, monitoring and follow up of political goals and targets.
He said this in his address to launch the African Statistics Day which is being celebrated under the theme “Making every Woman and Man Count; Engendering Statistics for Better Development Outcomes.”
Hon. Chikwanda said meaningful development will only be achieved if statistics are engendered as this will provide unbiased information to monitor and evaluate policies and action. He noted that the greatest gain a country can achieve comes with empowering women, ensuring equal opportunity and increasing the ratio of women in paid work.
Hon. Chikwanda said it is evident that gender equality contributes to development, therefore government is commitment to support the national statistical system in production and improving of gender statistics to ensure its visibility and formal organisation.
“We strive to improve the lives of every Zambian hence the need to draw attention to the importance of gender responsible statistics to tackle gender inequalities and women empowerment issues in all sectors of the economy,” he said.
Hon. Chikwanda said the presentation of gender statistics helps highlight gender gaps in demographic structures as well as the extent to which equality and equity are being promoted and achieved.
“Government believes gender equality is closely linked to quality of life hence concerns both men and women and not just women. And to achieve gender equality, we need to change attitudes, traditions and cultures that hinder its success, like violence against women and unequal payment for work of similar value, ” he said.
Hon. Chikwanda challenged every Zambian to reflect and appreciate the significance of statistical information in the development process.
African Statistics Day is a yearly advocacy tool aimed at raising awareness on the importance of statistics in all aspects of economic and social development. The day falls on 18th November, but Zambia will this year celebrate the day on Friday, 23rd November.